Photography: Colin Cowie
While having guests take part in your day is an honor, deciding who to invite can be an absolute pain! The good news is that there is a simple method to work your guest list like a pro! Check out the following formulas to apply to your guest list:
If The Couple Is Funding Their Wedding:
It is up to you how and if you will distribute guests to parents if you are 100% funding your wedding expenses. If you plan to distribute guests to parents, consider a 75/25 formula where 75% of the guest list is reserved for the couple and 25% is given to to parents. Each set of parents will then split the 25% down the middle.
If One Set Of Parents Are Funding The Wedding:
If one set of parents will fully fund the day, it is up to them how they will distribute wedding guests. They may exercise the the 75/25 formula where 75% of the guest list is reserved for the parents fully funding the wedding and the remaining 25% is split between the couple and other set of parents.
The parents fully funding may also use a more flexible percentage, such as splitting the guests list 50/50 where 50% goes to the parents funding the day and the remaining 50% is split between the couple and other set of parents.
Parents fully funding can also go with the traditional split formula, which is allowing the couple to keep 50% of the guest list and the remaining 50% is split between each set of parents.
If Both Sets Of Parents Are Funding The Wedding:
If both sets of parents are funding the wedding, it will also be up to them how they intend to distribute the wedding guest list. They may decide to use the 75/25 formula where 75% of the guest list is split evenly between both sets of parents and the remaining 25% is given to the couple.
They may also use a more generous formula by sticking with tradition and splitting the guests list 50/50 where 50% is split evenly by both sets of parents and the remaining 50% is given to the couple.
If One Set Of Parents And The Couple Are Funding The Wedding:
If one set of parents and the couple are funding the wedding, it is their choice how and if they will extend invites to the set of parents that are not contributing. We recommend that you consider extending guests as the set of parents that is not financially contributing simply may not have the resources to do so, or may still contribute in ways that are not financial.
Consider a formula such as 80/20, where 80% is split between the parents funding the wedding and couple with the remaining 20% extended to the parents that are not financially contributing.
If Both Sets Of Parents And The Couple Are Funding The Wedding:
If both sets of parents are contributing as well as the couple, consider the traditional formula of splitting the guests list 50/50. This allows 50% of the guest list to the couple and the remaining 50% is split evenly between both sets of parents.
If There Are Special Circumstances:
For divorced parents, follow the 50/50 formula where the bride and groom take 50% and both sets of parents take 50%. From there, split the 25% down the middle where divorced parents receive an equal share. For example, if the grooms parents are divorced, give each of the grooms parent 12% from the 25% given to the grooms parents.
Parents Exceeded Their Allocated Percent:
If parents exceed their allocated percent, consider asking if they can chip in to cover additional guests. You can also add additional guests once RSVP requests are received by adding additional guest in place of guests that have declined.
Other Family Contribute:
If other family members are contributing, consider allowing a specific number to each contributor, such as 1-2 guests each. If allowing guests would put you over your guest count, let them know that you would like to follow up with them once guest RSVP responses come back to ensure that you replace declines opposed to adding to your guest count.